West Writers Forum 2016: Our Stories — Conversations
West Writers Forum: Our Stories 2016 program is bigger and better than ever with a three day packed public program featuring international, interstate and local writers and storytellers. Day 2 program explores a wide range of conversations including translation, Yellow Peril, Australian writing, publishing and Beyoncé.
For full program, please visit HERE.
WHEN: Saturday 30 July, 12pm — 5pm
VENUE: FCAC Performance Space and FCAC Foyer
COST: $20, Booking Essential*
*Please note that although it is a full forum pass, you need to specify the events you wish to attend when you book.
Peril Magazine, Australia’s leading online platform for Asian Australian writing, arts and culture, takes its name from Yellow Peril, a term coined in the 19th century to describe the perceived menace of Asian migration. But are Asians still dangerous in Australia? Or are Asians in Australia the “happy migrant effect” writ large?
Writers, activists and academics, Hoa Pham, Eugenia Flynn, Dominic Golding, Nadia Rhook lead a panel discussion about the past, present and future constructions of race in Australian writing – hosted by Lian Low, get ready for #DangerAsians.
WHEN: Saturday 30 July, 12pm – 1pm
VENUE: FCAC Performance Space
Lost or Found in Translation?
As our world grows smaller and people become more familiar with one another through daily cross-cultural interactions, what stops us from finding ourselves or losing ourselves in each other’s stories? Is translation the final frontier in creative writing? Can we achieve fluid creative and cultural exchanges through the translation of stories? Or will some things always remain lost in translation? Join moderator Mridula Nath Chakraborty in conversation with academics Sanaz Fotouhi and Dr Nadia Niaz, Lily Yulianti Farid and Josiane Behmoiras for this panel.
WHEN: Saturday 30 July, 1pm – 2pm
VENUE: FCAC Performance Space
Visual Story Intervention
What if you could rewrite your favourite story? How would it begin? How would it end? Would the good guy turn bad? Would the bad guy turn good? Did the author get it wrong? Join Reuben Brand guest illustrator and comic for the Visual Story Intervention as we put all the creative power in the hands of the reader for one afternoon. Walk away with your own illustration of an alternative scene from your favourite book.
WHEN: Saturday 30 June, 1:30pm – 4pm
VENUE: FCAC Foyer
The Unpublished Manuscript
So you’re a writer and you want to be published? What’s next? Join West Writer Alumna, Cher Chidzy and Director, Annie Hall, ThreeKookaburras Publishing, to hear about their journey of meeting and signing Cher’s first contract for her soon to be released novel Ken’s Quest.
WHEN: Saturday 30July, 1:30pm – 2:30pm
VENUE: FCAC Foyer
What is Australian Writing III?
In series three, Khalid Warsame asks Jo Case (Melbourne Writers Festival), David Ryding (City of Literature Office) and Jacqui Horwood (Brimbank Writers Festival), ‘What is Australian Writing?’ but through the lens of literary festivals and institutions. Grapple with this contentious question as we re-imagine the possibilities in contemporary Australian writing and story, building on conversations from series one and two about the experience of writing as an author, storyteller, editor and publisher.
WHEN: Saturday 30 July, 2:30pm – 3:30pm
VENUE: FCAC Performance Space
Images, Representation and Beyoncé
In the wake of Beyoncé’s visual album release, Lemonade, many people have raised questions about the impact of popular images on the politics of representation. Join Areej Nur in moderating conversation with Mahogany L Browne, Namila Benson, Ayan Shirwa, DJ Wahe and Amie Batalibasi as they share their reactions and thoughts on Lemonade, popular culture and the politics of contemporary representation.
WHEN: Saturday 30July, 4pm – 5pm
VENUE: FCAC Performance Space
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Mahogany L. Browne (Writing the Self / REDbone: A Biomythography / Images, Representation and Beyoncé / One Night Stanza)
The Cave Canem and Poets House alum is the author of several books including Dear Twitter: Love Letters Hashed Out On-line, recommended by Small Press Distribution & About.com Best Poetry Books of 2010. Mahogany, an NAACP Image Award nominee, bridges the gap between lyrical poets and literary emcee. Browne has toured Germany, Amsterdam, England, Canada and recently Australia as 1/3 of the cultural arts exchange project Global Poetics. Her journalism work has been published in magazines Uptown, KING, XXL, The Source, Canada’s The Word and UK’s MOBO. Her poetry has been published in literary journals Pluck, Manhattanville Review, Muzzle, Union Station Mag, Literary Bohemian, Bestiary, Joint & The Feminist Wire. She is the author of several poetry collections including: Smudge (Button Poetry), Redbone (Willow Books) & is a part of the groundbreaking anthology The Break Beat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (Haymarket). She is an Urban Word NYC Poet-in-Residence (as seen on HBO’s Brave New Voices), founder of Women Writers of Color Reading Room (housed on Pratt Institute) and facilitates performance poetry and writing workshops throughout the country. Browne is also the publisher of Penmanship Books, the Nuyorican Poets Café Poetry Program Director and Friday Night Slam curator and currently a 2nd year MFA Candidate for Writing & Activism at Pratt Institute.
Namila Benson (Images, Representation and Beyoncé) has worked for more than two decades across Australia’s various media platforms (ABC Local, national and international; ABC digital; Triple R, 3CR) as a radio and tv presenter, producer, blogger and music specialist. Whether on television or the radio airwaves, she delivers content with a strong focus on race, culture, feminism and identity. These days, she runs media training workshops across Melbourne and abroad with various communities; as well as mentoring young people from diverse backgrounds in the early stages of their broadcasting careers. She also MCs, moderates and guests at music festivals, conferences and arts events. When she’s not behind the mic, she’s running around behind her toddlers.
Khalid Warsame (What is Australian Writing III? / The Lifted Brow: Writing Fiction) is a Brisbane-based writer and editor. He is the fiction editor of The Lifted Brow and the Festival Coordinator for the National Young Writers’ Festival. Khalid has previously worked as an editor for Overland Journal and was part of the Voiceworks Editorial Committee.
Lily Yulianti Farid (Lost or Found in Translation?) is a short story writer, founder and director of Makassar International Writers Festival, the first and only international literary festival in East Indonesia. Her published story collections are: Makkunrai (2008), Maisaura (2008), Family Room (2010), Ayahmu Bulan Engkau Matahari (2011). She has participated at Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, Winternachten Festival, The Hague; Word Storm Festival Darwin, Byron Bay Writers Festival, Melbourne Writers Festival, Bendigo Writers Festival, Salihara Literary Festival, and many more literary events. She received her MA and PhD in gender studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She co-founded Rumata’ Artspace in Makassar in 2010 and works as one of the executive directors.
Reuben Brand (The Visual Story Intervention and Comic; The Politics of Illustration) is an Australian writer, illustrator and consultant. During his career he spent a large amount of time traveling, living and working in the Middle East and South Asia. His work saw him travel through the Middle East extensively and has given him a deep respect and understanding of the different religions, beliefs, cultures and immense history of the region. To date Reuben has worked on projects in Australia, Bahrain, Indonesia, Kuwait, London, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Syria, and the UAE. He currently works in the local community sector with the Lebanese Muslim Association. The projects he manages with his wonderful team are aimed at building strong community cohesion and positive growth. They range from inter-school poetry slams and writing programs, a National Mosque Open Day initiative, a role model program to inspire and empower students and training programs for religious leaders and workers, just to name a few. He is the Co-Founder of Creative Ummah, an initiative that actively encourages, highlights and supports the change makers, entrepreneurs and creative people of the global Muslim community. He also co-founded an initiative called Muslim Funaddicts, a project that actively empowers people to breakdown common negative stereotypes and misconceptions that continue to surround the Muslim community by using fun, engaging and positive messaging to counter the current barrage of online negativity.
Jo Case (What is Australian Writing III?) is program manager of Melbourne Writers Festival and the author of Boomer and Me: A Memoir of Motherhood, and Asperger’s, which was shortlisted for the inaugural Russell Prize for Humour Writing. She is public program manager at the Feminist Writers Festival and has been associate editor of Kill Your Darlings, books editor of The Big Issue, deputy editor of Australian Book Review and a founding board member of The Stella Prize.
Amie Batalibasi (Images, Representation and Beyoncé) is an Australian Solomon Islander filmmaker, media trainer and creative producer based in Melbourne, Australia. Her current work is centred around: making films that emphasise storytelling about human rights, social justice issues and cultural diversity; sharing filmmaking skills with diverse communities through facilitating community based media projects; and producing community creative arts projects. In 2009, with the help of friends, Amie founded a small group called Pacific Community Partnerships to help support her family’s village in the Solomon Islands through community based projects. In 2012, Amie founded Colour Box Studio in Footscray, Melbourne, as a platform to showcase and nurture artists and communities through innovative creative programming. All all of her work, Amie is driven by a passion to use creativity and storytelling to provoke discussion and create change.
Nadia Rhook (#DangerAsians) researches and teaches colonial history at La Trobe University. From her PhD ‘Speaking in Grids’, she’s published in journals including Postcolonial Studies, and created the walking tour ‘Migration and the Private Lives of the Hoddle Grid’. She has an interest in how history can be evoked in words and in urban space.
Hoa Pham (#DangerAsians) founded Peril in 2006. She is also the writer of 6 books the most recent Wave is being adapted for film. The Other Shore won the Seizure Vive la Novella Prize in 2014. She also writes plays and the occasional spiel for her day job.
Eugenia Flynn (#DangerAsians) is a writer, social commentator, freelance producer and arts worker. She is the Centre Coordinator for the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development at the Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts & Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at The University of Melbourne. Eugenia runs the blog Black Thoughts Live Here and her thoughts on the politics of race, identity, gender and culture have been published in Crikey, The Guardian Australia, The Conversation, Peril Magazine, VICE Magazine, HYSTERIA (UK) and The Victorian Writer. She identifies as Aboriginal (Tiwi and Larrakiah), Chinese Malaysian and Muslim, working within her multiple communities to create change through writing, art, politics and community development.
Lian Low (#DangerAsians) is a writer and spoken word artist. From 2010 to 2014, Lian edited Peril. Currently she’s Peril’s Editor-at-Large and Chairperson. From 2013-2015, she travelled to Singapore and Malaysia for research, and created site-specific spoken word performances for the Melaka Art and Performance Festival. She’s currently working on a travel memoir about this journey.
Dominic Hong Duc Golding (#DangerAsians) came in a box, ‘Operation Babylift’ one of some 300 plus children and babies evacuated from orphanages in South Vietnam. In 2000 he was involved with a site installation performance Memory Museum about Australia’s involvement in war for the Adelaide Festival Centre. On numerous projects Dominic has worked with Australian Vietnamese Youth Media and in partnership with the Vietnamese Community in Australia (VIC chapter) directed Walking Without Feet (2004) an art showcase by Vietnamese young adults with special needs Dominic has returned to Vietnam three times, each time a new show was developed, Shrimp (2005, 2007) which won the Drama Victoria Award, and Mr. Saigon, Ms. Hanoi (2007). He curator of Unseen Habitation (2014) and Vessels to a Story (2016) for RISE. He is an arts and special needs worker.
Sanaz Fotouhi (What is Lost or Found in Translation?) is a writer and filmmaker, and the assistant executive director of the Asia Pacific Writers and Translators Inc. She holds a PhD from the University of New South Wales, and her book The Literature of the Iranian Diaspora: Meaning and Identity since the Islamic Revolution (IB Tauris, 2015) is the first of its kind that examines the body of Iranian writing in English over the last three and half decades. Sanaz’s first creative non-fiction book Journey of Hope a travelogue/memoir about her travels through Afghanistan as part of a two member documentary film crew which led to the making the award winning film Love Marriage in Kabul will be published early 2017 with Transit Lounge.
Dr Nadia Niaz (Lost or Found in Translation?) is an academic and writer who lives in Melbourne. She received her PhD in Creative Writing and Cultural Studies from the University of Melbourne, where she teaches Creative Writing in the School of Culture and Communication. Her areas of interest are multilingual creative expression, particularly in poetry, the practicalities and politics of translation, and language use among third culture kids and other globally mobile cohorts. Nadia was a co-editor of New Scholar’s ‘Belonging Issue’, a special edition produced as the culmination of the Belonging Project, an interdisciplinary forum for the interrogation of the concept of ‘belonging’ initiated by the Australia Centre at the University of Melbourne. Nadia’s own writing has appeared in Strange 4, Text, Mascara Literary Review, Cordite, and Alhamra Literary Review. She is the recipient of a 2016 Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship for the completion of her first novel.
Dr Mridula Nath Chakraborty (Lost or Found in Translation?) is Deputy Director of the Monash Asia Institute at Monash University, Melbourne. Mridula has edited Being Bengali: at home and in the world, an enquiry into the intellectual history of this linguistic group from Bangladesh and India (Routledge 2014). She is the co-editor of Abohelaar Bhangon Naame Booke/Broken by Neglect, a bilingual edition of Nunga poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s poetry from English to Bengali (2014) and A Treasury of Bangla Stories (1997). Most recently, Mridula has convened high-impact projects in literary-cultural diplomacy between Australia and India, such as Australia-India Literatures International Forum (Sydney 2013), the Autumn School in Literary Translation (Kolkata 2013) and Literary Commons: Writing Australia-India in the Asian Century with Indigenous, Dalit and Multilingual Tongues (2014-2016). Mridula contributes to cross-cultural advocacy and transnational literary-creative networks through her work as a core partner of the South Asia Diaspora International Researchers’ Network (SADIRN), as Board Member of Asia Pacific Writers and Translators (APWT) and via the Steering Committee of the Monash-Warwick Alliance Migration, Identity and Translation Network (MITN).
Josiane Behmoiras is a Melbourne-based author. Her essays and short fiction have been published in Heat, Meanjin, The Victorian Writer and Island magazine and her memoir, Dora B, was published in Australia, the UK, Germany and France, and shortlisted for the NSW Premier Awards. Josiane has been teaching creative writing at various community settings and at The University of Melbourne, where she was awarded a creative writing PhD on the topic of the literary imagination of utopia and dystopia.
Cher Chidzey (The Unpublished Manuscript), a Singaporean, migrated to Australia in 1975. She graduated with BSc. from Monash University and MSc. from Melbourne University. She taught mathematics, wrote curriculum and conducted workshops for T.A.F.E teachers, and published three mathematical text books from 1990 to 2000. Her poetry was published in Poetry Monash, Micro Oz Press, Broadseat, Centoria and Deakin Literary Society anthology. Her short stories were published in Windmill, Tincture, Deakin Literary Society anthology, University of New England Review and online by Australianreader.com. Her stories were broadcasted on 3CR, Southern FM and Radio Adelaide and Radio National. Cher was a member of West Writers at the Footscray Community Arts Centre and she has performed at the Emerging Writers Festival and read at the Writers Forum in 2014 and 2015 at FCAC. She is also a member of U3A playwright. In 2013 she has participated as an extra in the short film titled Courage by Luke Stephens and in a 7 part comedy web series about dance therapy titled Movement by Maria Angelico in 2015. Her play Trevor’s legs will be staged at the Melbourne Town hall in October 2016 as part of Seniors’ week.
Annie Hall (The Unpublished Manuscript) is a journalist by trade and the publisher of Threekookaburras. Threekookaburras published three books since November 2014. There are plans to publish four books in 2016. Threekookaburras published both fiction and non-fiction. Despite being based in Australia, they publish international titles including When Sirens Call by Paul David Adkin (Spain) and Outpost (2017) by Sean Akerman (US).
1-2 Original Artworks by Aysha Tufa
3 Original Artwork by Hedsbent